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1. Your intervention paper isn’t due for
several weeks, but don’t delay on
getting started.
2. Your intervention paper is individually
written, but the presentation is
3. Get with me if you need assistance in
finding resources on your assigned
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Today’s Topic:
Gesture as Communication:
Deictic and
Representational Gestures
Reference by means of an expression
whose interpretation is relative to the
context, not necessarily the content of
the utterance, such as:
who is speaking
the time or place of speaking
the gestures of the speaker, or
the current location of the discourse.
From: LinguaLinks (
Examples of deictic expressions
I/you (person deixis)
here/there (place deixis)
Ud./tú (social deixis)
yesterday/today/tomorrow or
now/then (time deixis)
From: LinguaLinks (
Deictic Gestures:
 protoimperatives
 protodeclaratives
Proto-imperatives: (usually
emerge around 9 months)
“gestures that function to
engage the adults as a tool
for obtaining a desired
(Iverson & Thal,1998, p. 60)
Proto-declaratives: (appear
after proto-imperatives)
“gestures that function to
indicate an object with the
goal of gaining the adult’s
(Iverson & Thal,1998, p. 60)
Representational Gestures:
 object related gestures
 culturally defined
conventional gestures
“Representational gestures both
establish reference and carry some
fixed semantic content”
(Iverson & Thal, 1998, p. 61)
Object related gestures:
•These are gestures that “represent
some aspect of a referent” and can
“be produced either with or without
the referent in hand.”
(Iverson & Thal, 1998, p. 61)
Culturally defined conventional gestures:
 social markers
 conventional (not
Example: waving bye-bye
Small Group Activity #1:
Discuss in small group:
o Gesture may be one aspect of
communication in which comprehension
does not precede production. What might
be some implications of this for students
with severe disabilities, particularly in a
classroom setting?
Quick Write
What have you learned about the
development of gestures that
seems important to you as an
Developing Coordinated
1. Attending to social
partners: looking at
people who draw
their attention.
Developing Coordinated Attention, cont.:
2. Supported joint
engagement: looking at
an object which
caregiver then also
attends to.
Developing Coordinated Attention, cont.:
3. Coordinated joint
engagement: Switching
attention between
caregiver and object they
are both attending to.
Small Group Activity #2:
Using the Iverson & Thal reading,
come up with a timeline for the
development of early communication,
including gestures and eye gaze.
Important Points about Gestures:
Early gestures are not true symbols -they are highly context bound (i.e.
within a certain routine). However,
they may develop into symbols as
children learn to use them creatively
and within a variety of different
Typically developing children use
both gestures and words when they
are learning to communicate.
Important Points, cont.:
When children are using word-gesture
combinations, this may indicate that they
are almost ready to start using two-word
The use of gestures (or alternative and
augmentative communication systems) by
caretakers does not delay oral language
development -- it may help it! This
supports the use of total communication
with children with language delays.
Looking ahead…
Spring Break!!!!!
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